Squale x Drass Underwater Technologies
Experience and expertise in underwater exploration
The story of Drass runs parallel with mankind’s passion for exploration of our oceans. Established in 1927 in Livorno, Italy, and headquartered in what has become one of the largest seaports in both the Mediterranean and the world, Drass’s unique history and extensive achievements have kept them at the forefront of manufacturing subaqueous technology.
Synonymous with some of the most influential maritime inventions of the twentieth century—they produced some of the earliest submarines, atmospheric diving suits which would revolutionize deep-sea exploration in the 1920s and 1930s.
Following the war, Drass became both recognized and reputable for their diving helmets and hyperbaric equipment. Jacques Cousteau’s celebrated subsea documentaries of the 1960s and 70s were made possible by their decompression chambers. And when Hollywood needed subaquatic vehicles for the iconic underwater battle scenes in the 1965 James Bond movie “Thunderball,” they turned to Drass to provide them Similar vehicles have been made not only for cinematographic purposes but also for professional purposes: from the CIA, through the U.S. Special Forces to the Navy Seals in the 1950s and 1960s, there are multiple special forces that collaborated with Drass.
In subsequent years, Drass continued to innovate with its helium-saturated deep-diving bells, abyssal simulators and, above all, compact submarines for military use; a concentration of unique technology.
Today, Drass, in addition to offering a range of totally revamped traditional vehicles, continues to produce the most advanced vehicles for elite navies around the world, such as the Drass DRV (Deep Rescue Veichle) vehicle currently used by the Italian Navy, patented by Drass in 2017 in collaboration with SAIPEM, a leading Italian company in the infrastructure sector. It is in fact a truly revolutionary vehicle, the first in the world capable of operating remotely to rescue submarine crews stranded at great depths.
THE DRASS PERISCOPE - THE WATCH FOR SUBMARINE TECHNICIANS
Wanting to rely exclusively on high-grade professionals for the creation of every element of supply to their crews, Drass decided to entrust Squale with the task of creating a timepiece suitable for submarine operators, capable of meeting the technical requirements and honouring its great history of professionalism that is currently being supplied to the leading submarine technology company.
(Andrea Maggi, Squale CEO; Sergio Cappelletti, Drass Managing Director)
Hence, from Drass's requests came the Drass Periscope model, made as a watch in supply to its employees, and not distributed commercially.
The watch is bold in looks, robust in feel, dynamic in function, and rich in heritage.
The steel case is treated with a IP Black (Ion Plating) coating, a chemical process capable of achieving a durable colour that is resistant to shocks and corrosion.
The black colour was chosen to avoid accidentally revealing one's position in a military context by avoiding unnecessary light reflections.
The Periscope is also equipped with an automatic helium escape valve that allows it to reach depths of 500 metres and a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating to improve readability and protect the dial.
Being produced exclusively for the company, it bears only the Drass logo at twelve o'clock and a stylised submarine at six o'clock on the dial.
Based on the design of Squale's most acclaimed and iconic watch, the Squale Master of the 1970s, it features a specially designed 120-click unidirectional bezel in matt black steel with no numerals. This feature was originally produced by Squale for the elite divers of the Bundeswehr Kampfschwimmer during the 1970s in their purpose-built military watches, an essential element for divers who had to stay submerged for hours, rather than minutes, using breathing apparatuses during the most extreme missions.
The Drass company also asked Squale to make an additional device to accompany the watch. It is in fact a rubber cap, to be specially applied to the bezel of the watch. An apparently innocuous device, but one that conceals a great purpose.
In submarines, instrumentation is extremely sensitive, and any interference risks ruining the mission. An accidental collision of the watch with another metal part in the narrow spaces of the submarine would risk creating an interference signal for its sonar and radar, or worse still, accidentally revealing its position to the enemy.
The rubber cap, made in Italy from highly resistant material, can be easily attached to or removed from the watch depending on the submariner operator's needs.
The need for accurate timekeeping underwater is just as important as it ever was, especially when lives depend on it. In an age dominated by advances in digital automation, a traditional mechanical watch that can handle the rigors of the deep is still a vital backup for when all else fails electronically.
THE SQUALE PERISCOPE - THE WATCH FOR SUBMARINE ENTHUSIASTS
To celebrate this supply, Squale, in agreement with Drass, has decided to market a model called Squale Periscope. The model in question has one difference from the one supplied to Drass, namely the dial: to underline the synergy between the two companies, it was decided to offer both the Squale logo and the Drass logo.
All the features of the watch are the same as those of the Drass Periscope in supply to Drass, making this watch available not only to professionals, but to all undersea and military enthusiasts.